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World champion Nitu moves up to 54kg class

Less than two months after she became a world champion in the 48 kg class, boxer has moved up a weight division. The Bhiwani boxer will now compete in the 54 kg class, a decision prompted by the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) new selection policy of preferring in-camp evaluation over trials.

New Delhi: India's Nitu Ghanghas reacts(PTI)
New Delhi: India’s Nitu Ghanghas reacts(PTI)

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) conducted trials for admission to national camps in Patiala on Thursday where Ghanghas beat Divya Pawar and Sakshi Choudhary to reach the semi-finals.

In the final, she was up against Jyoti Gulia but the bout was called off since both finalists were assured of a place in the camp. Ghanghas and Gulia join Preeti Pawar who earned her place by virtue of reaching pre-quarterfinals at the World Championships in March.

The camp is likely to begin later this month and will feature only the Olympic weights. So far, only three boxers per weight class have been sanctioned but discussions are on to increase the number to four, said national coach Bhaskar Bhatt.

“I think it is a smart move by Nitu. She has good reach and has worked a lot on her strength. Her maintenance weight is also around 51-52kgs, and she competed in the trials weighing only 52 kgs. She has the potential to flourish in 54 kgs,” Bhatt added.

Ghanghas said the decision was prompted by BFI’s selection policy. “I am ready for a trial with Nikhat but since there won’t be any trials for the Asian Games as per BFI’s policy, I thought of jumping up a weight class,” the 22-year-old said.

“It is a risk worth taking. Rather than waiting for my turn, I’d much rather challenge myself in a tougher division,” she added.

The complete list of national campers is expected to be released by BFI next week.

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